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When I hosted Café San Diego last Friday, several readers sent me some great questions that I presented to the Mayor’s Office. Here are the answers, as promised:
- A reader, pointing to campaign contributions he thought were from employees of major trash collection companies, wondered whether Mayor Jerry Sanders was planning on privatizing the city’s refuse collection and recycling infrastructure. Here is what the mayor’s spokesman Bill Harris said today: “The answer is no — at the moment. Of course, the mayor is preparing the entire city for the implementation of managed competition. But at the moment, there is no specific proposal.”
- Will the new state law, allowing cable providers to bypass local governments and secure franchises directly from the state, impact San Diego’s finances or consumer choices? Harris doesn’t think so, at least not for a while, since the state still hasn’t implemented a system for granting franchises. In the meantime, he said, the city’s agreements will remain in force. “Of course, even when the state begins to do that, we will still have some access to the franchise fee, because of their use of the (city’s) right of way,” he said.
- In his State of the City speech, the mayor said one of his goals is to prepare the city’s water and wastewater systems for managed competition. Some wondered about how soon Sanders thinks this will happen. Harris: “Both of those departments continue to look to implement efficiencies absolutely everywhere. … They are being pushed by the mayor to continue those efforts as aggressively as possible. In terms of when they might be ready for managed competition, no date is set. … There is no specific time table for the implementation of managed competition.”